Darfur Organizations in US Respond to the Obama administration's Strategies in Darfur
October 20, 2009
The Darfuri Community organizations in the U.S. have been closely following the Obama administration's policy statements towards Darfur and Sudan that were released on an Oct. 19, 2009 press conference held in Washington DC by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, and the President's Special Envoy to Sudan Maj. Gen. Scott Gration. They stressed that both incentives and pressure should be considered in encouraging the Sudanese government to stop the genocide and bring peace to Darfur. Darfuris praises Obama administration for new Darfur strategies and policies.
"People of Darfur, however, waited for quite a long time to see constructive efforts backed with a strong action as Obama promised during the election.” Therefore, we expected the U.S. government to put more pressure on the Sudanese government, which has committed such heinous crimes against humanity.
Instead the Obama administration turned to incentives. Governments indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) should not get any incentives or recognition before handing over those accused of committing crimes against humanity to the Hague tribunal court. For Sudan, these include President Omar al-Bashir, Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmad Haroun, Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kusheeb, National Security and Intelligence Services director Salah Gush. Obama, Clinton, Rice and Gration never even mentioned the ICC or the importance of bringing those indicted to justice. So how can peace be achieved when justice falls by the wayside?
There are no clear indications that this policy will be carried out immediately. There is no time limit to implement this new policy against the Sudanese government, which means more time for this genocidal regime to continue killings, rape, and destruction with impunity.
Furthermore, there was no mention of sending more United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) troops to Darfur to enforce the ceasefire between warring factions, and to facilitate progress on critical issues such as the disarmament of the Janjaweed, implementation of the no-fly zone, securing a safe haven for the possible repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes, the immediate return of the expelled aid and humanitarian workers back to Darfur and the expulsion of foreign settlers from lands forcibly taken from Darfuris.
The elections that the Obama administration is so optimistic about are unrealistic given the current security and political climate in Sudan. These must be postponed until the Darfur issue is resolved.
The Doha talks will never bring peace to Darfur and will produce the same outcome as the 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) that resulted in an imperfect deal. The DPA failed to include important factions and parties, and Minni Arkou Minnawi, leader of a splinter group of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), was the only rebel to sign the DPA, leading to a volatile and unsustainable peace. Furthermore, the neutrality of the Qatari government is questionable because Qatar has consistently voted with Russia and China for impunity for the Sudanese regime in the UN. Any legitimate and credible peace talks should be held at impartial countries, as opposed to in ones that have plainly staked out positions on the matter.
Darfuris in the U.S. also acknowledges the reluctance of the Sudanese government to implement the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between north and south Sudan. The enforcement of the CPA is particularly difficult given the myriad other problems that the Sudanese government is creating for itself, its people and its neighbors by engaging in a campaign of ethnic cleansing and destruction. The CPA is a vital instrument in truly resolving the north-south conflict, though Darfur is conspicuously absent from the agreement. Despite this serious failure to address a critical issue to Sudanese national security, the CPA must be administered in order to foster lasting peace for all of Sudan.
Finally, the Darfuri Community organizations in the U.S. ask President Obama to fulfill his campaign promise to make the Darfur genocide a foreign policy priority. Darfuris also asks the UN Security Council to finally implement UN Resolution 1769 in its entirety. Today, the people of Darfur are counting on your leadership and your combined voices to call for the comprehensive execution of UN Resolution 1769 with the full force of the 26,000 UNAMID peacekeepers, 24 helicopters and other necessary logistics that the resolution demands in order to honor the lives and dignity of the Darfuris.
-Mr. Mohamed Yahya,
Founder and Executive Director,
Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy.
Washington DC- Tel- 434-409-9638.
- Mr. Mohamad Suleiman,
President- Darfur Self reliance organization,
-Mr. Adeeb Yousif,
Founder and Chairperson,
Darfur Reconciliation and Development Organization,
Zalingei-West Darfur/ San Fransisco, CA.
Dr. Badawi Osman,
Darfur Working Group organization,
North Virginia, Tel- 267-234-1933.
- Mr. Daowd Salih,
President and co-founder,
Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy,
New Jersey, Tel- 908-727-0128.
- Dr. Abdulgabar Adam,
Co-founder and President,
Darfur Human Rights Organization of the USA,
Pennsylvania, Tel- 267-784-7073.
-Mr. Yahya Osman,
Darfur Rehabilitation Project,
New Jersey, Tel- 347-825-9728.
- Mr. Garelnabi Abusikin,
Director of Opperations,
Darfur Human Rights of the USA,
Philladelphia- PA, Tel- 267-205-1307.
- Mr. Haider Abdalla,
Darfur Community of West Virginia,
- Ibrahim A. Mohamed,
Darfur Community of West Virginia,
-Ms. Monira Mohamed,
Miram Dar Association, Minnisota,
-Mr. Mansour Ahmad,